Monday, 30 November 2020

Best Financial Advisors in Houston 2020: Fees and Services

Best Financial Advisors in Houston 2020: Fees and Services
20 Oct
8:09

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

Updated on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

With the number of financial advisors in Houston, choosing a financial advisor can be a challenge. Finding the right advisor in the largest city in Texas really comes down to determining the right fit is for your financial situation, which means understanding your needs and goals and how much you can spend.

That being said, we understand digging through all the firms and data points is an undertaking, so we compiled the most important information here for you to make it easier. To identify the best advisors in Houston, we only looked at firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services. We then ranked these firms based on assets under management (AUM), which serves as a general metric for the firm’s size, and client-to-advisor ratio, which indicates how much attention you may get as a client.

Our ranking does not necessarily indicate which firm may be best for you, but it can help simplify the shopping experience. Look at our list below for the top firms in Houston and their key highlights:

financial advisor

financial advisor

10 best financial advisors in Houston

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Houston. All of the firms considered are bound by fiduciary duty, registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offer individual account management and financial planning services.

The firms that met this criteria were ranked based on their AUM and client-to-advisor ratio. These criteria are weighted equally in our scoring metrics. Firms with a higher AUM and lower client-to-advisor ratios garner higher scores. Our ranking system is designed to help compare firms but does not indicate which firm may be best for you.

In our reviews, we’ve listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor is most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. It is important to note that we did not include disciplinary disclosures as a metric for our ranking. We have listed any disciplinary disclosures current as of October 19, 2020, but urge you to evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

  • Minimum assets required: $5 million
  • AUM: $8,440,689,324
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 36:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Performance-based fees
    • Other (solicitation and client servicing arrangement with other advisor; model portfolios)
  • Firm phone number: (713) 238-2050
  • Headquarters address:
    2929 Allen Parkway, Suite 3000
    Houston, TX 77019-7124

About Avalon Investment & Advisory

Founded in 2001, Avalon Investment & Advisory is an independent firm owned by its employees, clients and investors, including the private equity firm Cynosure Group. It has offices in Houston and San Antonio.

The firm offers financial planning and portfolio management services, primarily to high net worth individuals and families, who the SEC defines as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. Avalon Investment & Advisory generally requires an account of at least $5 million to act as an investment manager, though private funds the firm oversees may have lower investment minimums.

Avalon Investment & Advisory investing strategy

Avalon Investment & Advisory considers each client’s financial situation when creating a personalized asset allocation strategy. That strategy may include a mix of the firm’s fixed income or equity accounts, as well as specialty accounts or private funds.

Taking a fundamental, long-term approach, Avalon Investments & Advisory aims to choose investments that will provide long-term capital gains and higher after-tax returns.

Avalon Investment & Advisory disciplinary disclosures

Avalon Investment & Advisory has had no disclosures over the past 10 years. All registered investment advisors must disclose in documents with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against it, its employees or affiliates that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its management team. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $3,844,536,498
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 215:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 840-1000
  • Headquarters address:
    1400 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 1000
    Houston, TX 77056

About Linscomb & Williams

Lawyers Dan Linscomb and George Williams founded Linscomb & WIlliams in 1971. Encore Bancshares purchased the firm in 2005 and was subsequently purchased by Cadence Bank in 2012, but Williams still works at the firm as a director and wealth advisor.

Linscomb & Williams is a full-service firm that provides comprehensive financial planning, investment management and general financial consulting. It mostly serves individuals and high net worth individuals, though it also works with institutional investors. An account of at least $1 million is generally required.

The firm has four Texas offices (in Houston, The Woodlands, Austin and Fredericksburg), and others in Birmingham, Ala. and in Atlanta.

Linscomb & Williams investing strategy

Linscomb & Williams creates individualized portfolios for its clients based on their financial situation. Portfolios may focus on capital growth or stable income, and invest in either mutual funds or individual stocks.

The firm has an investment committee that is responsible for choosing which securities to recommend to clients. When evaluating investments, the committee uses several criteria, including:

  • Prior performance history
  • Portfolio manager data
  • Qualitative and quantitative due diligence
  • Compatibility with the rest of the portfolio

Linscomb & Williams  disciplinary disclosures

Linscomb & Williams does not have any disclosures. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose in their Form ADV paperwork any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its employees or affiliates within the last 10 years that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its management team. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: $50,000
  • AUM: $2,764,481,331
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 40:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 366-0500
  • Headquarters address:
    4444 Westheimer, Suite G500
    Houston, TX 77027

About USCA RIA LLC

Founded in 2010, USCA RIA LLC is a financial services firm that is privately owned, primarily by investors and current and former employees. The firm, which also conducts business under the name U.S. Capital Advisors, of which it is a subsidiary, offers wealth management and financial planning to individuals, as well as research, banking and finance services to institutions and companies.

The majority of the firm’s clients are individuals and high net worth individuals, though it also serves various types of institutional investors. It has two offices in Houston, as well as locations in Austin and Dallas.

USCA RIA LLC investing strategy

USCA RIA customizes portfolios based on an individual client’s needs and objectives. Additionally, investment strategies may vary depending on the advisor overseeing the account as well as whether the account is managed by a USCA RIA advisor or a third party.

That being said, the firm’s strategies typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Equity — Capital Appreciation: This strategy focuses primarily on growing capital and may include a secondary focus on dividend income. It may involve selling covered calls.
  • Equity — Income and Capital Appreciation: This strategy focuses on dividend income, with a secondary focus on capital appreciation. It may include a fixed income allocation of up to 30%, as well as selling covered calls or uncovered puts.
  • Equity — Covered Call Strategy: This strategy primarily involves selling covered calls against equity positions in a portfolio.
  • Balanced: This strategy includes a mix of fixed income, equities and cash, based on a client’s financial situation. It may include selling or buying puts and covered calls, or selling uncovered puts.
  • Fixed Income: Cash and fixed income make up 80% of this portfolio, with the rest invested in equities, including preferred securities.

USCA RIA LLC disciplinary disclosures

USCA RIA doesn’t have any disclosures, meaning there aren’t any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its employees or affiliates. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose such events that clients might consider material. You can visit the firm’s IAPD page for more information.

  • Minimum assets required: $5 million
  • AUM: $2,391,151,636
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 14:1
  • Fee structure:
    • Percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 977-2694
  • Headquarters address:
    6363 Woodway Drive, Suite 620
    Houston, TX 77057

About Paul Comstock Partners

Paul Comstock Partners is a fee-only registered investment advisory firm owned primarily by its CEO, Alison Comstock Moss. Moss’ father, Paul Comstock, founded the firm in 1983 and remains a board member and minority owner.

Paul Comstock Partners primarily serves high net worth individuals families with investment assets of at least $5 million, and aims to provide them investment advisory and wealth advisory services as an outsourced “chief investment officer.” The firm’s clients also include foundations and tax-exempt organizations. It has one office in Houston.

Paul Comstock Partners investing strategy

Paul Comstock Partners aims to create a diversified portfolio of stocks and real estate as well as liquid fixed-income assets. The firm recommends investment managers that clients can use to create such a portfolio.

Advisors construct portfolios aimed at minimizing risk, using a mix of both traditional and alternative assets. The firm takes a long-term investing view, and believes that a diversified portfolio will deliver returns, even with short-term fluctuations in value.

Paul Comstock Partners disciplinary disclosures

Paul Comstock Partners has had no disclosures over the past 10 years. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose in documents filed with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its employees or affiliates. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: Not specified
  • AUM: $2,013,868,221
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 25:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Performance-based fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 968-0400
  • Headquarters address:
    1330 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 2100
    Houston, TX 77056

About GFS Advisors LLC

Private equity firm Lee Equity Partners, LLC principally owns GFS Advisors, which was founded in 2007. The firm is affiliated with Global Financial Services LLC, which serves as a broker-dealer allowing clients to purchase securities directly.

GFS Advisors provides investment advisory and financial planning services to primarily high net worth individuals, though it also works with a number of private investment companies, as well as charitable organizations and other businesses. It has one office in Houston.

GFS Advisors LLC investing strategy

GFS Advisors creates custom portfolios for each client based on their individual financial situation, risk tolerance and long-term goals. These portfolios may include a variety of investments, including individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, alternative investments and other assets.

To select investments, GFS Advisors considers a variety of factors, including performance, management tenure, portfolio turnover, fees and determinations derived from quantitative analysis, which looks at a company’s balance sheets. Once portfolios are created, GFS Advisors monitors them on an ongoing basis, reallocating assets as needed based on market conditions or other factors.

GFS Advisors LLC disciplinary disclosures

All registered investment advisors must disclose in documents with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against it, its employees or affiliates that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm. GFS Advisors reports one disclosure on its Form ADV paperwork involving Global Financial Services, the registered broker-dealer with which the firm is affiliated.

In 2014, Global Financial Services paid $100,000 to settle allegations that it did not implement proper policies to detect and report suspicious activities. Global Financial Services did not admit or deny the allegations.

For more information on the firm and its disciplinary history, visit its IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: Not specified
  • AUM: $1,986,715,329
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 17:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 429-5552
  • Headquarters address:
    811 Louisiana Street, Suite 2420
    Houston, TX 77002

About Americana Partners, LLC

President and founder Jason Fertitta launched Americana Partners, LLC in 2019, after leaving Morgan Stanley along with a team of 11 co-workers. Fertitta is the primary owner of the firm, which has offices in Dallas, Austin and Houston.

Americana Partners offers investment and wealth management, and a range of financial planning and consulting services, primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals. It can also serve trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses.

Americana Partners, LLC investing strategy

Americana Partners creates individualized portfolios for clients using a variety of analysis techniques. Portfolios primarily include traditional assets, though the firm may also recommend that some clients invest in privately placed securities, such as hedge funds.

In addition to stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds, portfolios also may include investments with third-party managers. To select those, the firm evaluates managers based on those advisors’ public documents, as well as their investment strategy and past performance.

Americana Partners, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Americana Partners has had no disclosures since its founding. All registered investment advisors must disclose in documents with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions that involve either the firm or its employees or affiliates and that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its team. For more information on Americana Partners, visit its IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $1,734,199,264
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 57:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Other (management of pooled investment vehicles)
  • Firm phone number: (281) 822-8800
  • Headquarters address:
    800 Town and Country Blvd, Suite 410
    Houston, TX 77024

About STA Wealth Management, LLC

Radio talk show host Lance Roberts founded Streettalk Advisors in 2002 with business partner Michael Smith. Partner Luke Patterson joined the firm in 2004, and they changed its name to STA Wealth Management in 2013.

Smith and Patterson still work at the firm, serving as president and chief executive officer/chief investment officer, respectively. They co-own STA Wealth Management along with the firm’s chief operating officer and executive vice presidents.

STA Wealth Management provides discretionary investment management services — meaning it has the authority to sign off on investing decisions without the clients express approval — primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals. It also offers stand-alone financial planning services. A $500,000 minimum household asset level is generally required to open a traditional account at the firm.

In addition to its Houston headquarters, the firm has a location in Sugar Land.

STA Wealth Management, LLC investing strategy

STA Wealth Management generally advises clients on a discretionary basis, meaning the firm has the authority to make decisions on a client’s behalf, and only in very limited cases will it offer non-discretionary management.

In general, client portfolios are based on the information they provide at the outset of the relationship, namely their net worth and investment goals. STA Wealth Management uses research from a variety of sources to build diversified portfolios that may include both short-term and long-term purchases, as well as short sales, margin transactions and options.

STA Wealth Management, LLC disciplinary disclosures

STA Wealth Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures. All registered investment advisors must disclose such incidents in documents with the SEC that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its management team. You can get more information on the firm by viewing these documents on its IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: No account minimum
  • AUM: $1,595,201,430
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 30:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: (713) 650-1995
  • Headquarters address:
    1177 West Loop South, Suite 1750
    Houston, TX 77027

About Chilton Capital Management LLC

Founded in 1996, Chilton Capital Management is now majority-owned by Knapp Brothers, LLC, a private company owned by firm president, David M. Underwood Jr., and John Knapp Jr., with other employees of Chilton Capital Management owning the remaining 45% of the firm.

The firm offers fee-only investment management and financial planning, mostly to individuals who do and do not qualify as high-net worth individuals per the SEC’s definition (at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). It also serves institutional investors. The firm has its headquarters in Houston.

Chilton Capital Management LLC investing strategy

In general, Chilton Capital Management strives to achieve consistent returns while using an investment strategy that aligns with a client’s goals and objectives. The firm offers a broad array of strategies, each of which is overseen by a dedicated investment team and includes:

  • Growth & Income Strategy: Focused on providing cash flow and preserving capital.
  • High-Quality Tax-Exempt Strategy: Aims to maximize income with the least amount of risk.
  • REIT Strategy Strategy: Uses real estate investment trusts and real estate-related entities as a complement to multi-manager portfolios.
  • Swan Defined Risk: Designed to generate income in all markets and protect investments in down markets.

When creating portfolios for clients, Chilton Capital Management uses a variety of investments, including both public and private stocks and bonds, master-limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, options and funds.

Chilton Capital Management LLC disciplinary disclosures

Chilton Capital Management has had no disclosures since its founding. All registered investment advisors must disclose in documents with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against it, its employees or affiliates that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its management team. You can learn more about the firm by visiting Chilton Capital Management’s IAPD page.

  • Minimum assets required: Not specified, but minimum annual fee of $5,000
  • AUM: $1,159,000,000
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 76:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: (713) 439-0665
  • Headquarters address:
    8955 Katy Freeway, Suite 200
    Houston, TX 77024

About Corda Investment Management, LLC

Firm president and chief investment officer Bonner C. Barnes founded Corda Investment Management in 1999 and remains its primary owner. The firm offers portfolio management and pension consulting. It provides its services primarily to individual investors, both who do and do not meet the SEC’s definition of high net worth, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses.

The firm has its headquarters in Houston and additional offices in Austin and Dallas.

Corda Investment Management, LLC investing strategy

Corda Investment Management creates customized portfolios for its clients, taking into account their personal financial situation. For clients who own a large position in a single company, Corda Investment Management offers an options strategy designed to help them unwind the position in order to create a more diversified portfolio.

Corda Investment Management looks for sustainable businesses when making investment decisions. To identify sustainable businesses, the Corda Investment Management team evaluates companies based on their impact on environmental, social and governance factors.

Corda Investment Management, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Corda Investment Management reports no disclosures from within the last 10 years in its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose any civil, criminal, or regulatory actions against it, its employees or its affiliates that clients might consider material when evaluating the firm or its management team. You can view the firm’s IAPD page for more information.

  • Minimum assets required: No account minimum
  • AUM: $1,080,534,119
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 16:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (713) 673-8999
  • Headquarters address:
    2925 Richmond Avenue, Suite 425
    Houston, TX 77098

About Inscription Capital, LLC

Former UBS brokers Brian Bova, David Leeds Eustis and Marc Oster founded Inscription Capital in 2018 and remain the firm’s co-owners. The firm provides financial planning, consulting, investment management and family office services primarily to individuals, both high net worth and otherwise. It has two offices in Houston.

Inscription Capital, LLC investing strategy

Inscription Capital uses customized models and portfolio strategies that may include individual securities, funds, structured products, options and alternative investments. Additionally, the firm may also recommend that clients invest a portion of their portfolios with external managers. In some cases, Inscription Capital may recommend that clients use the Betterment Institutional robo-advising platform to implement their portfolios.

In general, Inscription Capital takes a long-term approach to investing, aiming to hold assets for at least a year. However, advisors may sell holdings after a shorter period to rebalance a portfolio, meet client needs or respond to a change in the fundamental value of the asset or sector.

Inscription Capital, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Inscription Capital reports no disciplinary disclosures within the last 10 years. All registered investment advisors must disclose in their Form ADV documents filed with the SEC any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against either the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information, visit Inscription Capital’s IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Houston: FAQs

While there’s no state income tax in Texas or state inheritance or estate taxes, Houston residents still need to consider the impact of local property taxes on their portfolio. It’s also always important to plan for federal income taxes.

No. While many financial advisor firms can help you with retirement planning, it’s not the primary goal of every firm. Some advisors will focus solely on building your portfolio, while others may take a more holistic approach and address other issues, such as tax minimization or risk management.

It’s typically better for you to hire a fee-only financial advisor. Fee-only advisors earn money from fees their clients pay — whether an hourly rate, flat fee or a percentage of assets under management — but they do not receive commissions for making recommendations or selling products.

On the other hand, fee-based advisors may receive commissions for selling certain products in addition to the fees their clients pay, which could create a conflict of interest. Working with an advisor with fewer potential conflicts of interest can leave you more confident that decisions regarding your portfolio are being made with your best interest in mind.

It’s important to hire a fiduciary financial advisor because this will provide assurance that your advisor is making recommendations based on what’s best for you, rather than what will earn them more money. A fiduciary advisor is legally and ethically bound to put your interests before their own.

Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/investing/best-financial-advisors-houston-rias/

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